3.3 Skills forecasting
On this page
Slovenia supports vocational education, training and acquiring practical skills that had been neglected in the past. The Government of Slovenia adopted the Scholarship Policy (2015–2019) (Politika štipendiranja (2015–2019)) in June 2015 and the Scholarship Policy (2020–2024) (Politika štipendiranja (2020-2024)) in December 2019. In 2016, it established a monthly scholarship of 100 euros for education for in-demand professions (e.g. stonecutter, baker, butcher, carpenter, mason, forester, electrician, chimney sweep). This scholarship provided 1.2 million euros to individuals through 1000 scholarships and ensured that adequate human resources were available to employers. With such scholarships, Slovenia promotes the enrolement of young people in upper secondary vocational and upper secondary technical programmes training them for in-demand occupations. Due to the needs of the labour market, the new Scholarship Policy, adopted in 2019, continues to recognize in-demand professions as defined in the previous Scholarship policy.
In addition to scholarships, MDDSZ is also implementing a programme called ‘Regional Scholarship Schemes’. Via this programme, the Ministry is co-financing corporate/company scholarships in order to prevent brain drain from certain regions of the Republic of Slovenia. In addition, the programme encourages employers to place more emphasis on the development and planning of human resources in their companies since they choose the recipients of the scholarships. The target group of this programme includes employers in different regions of Slovenia and young people enrolled in vocational education and training (VET), undergraduate or graduate education.
The project ‘We Will be Engineers’ (Inženirke in inženirji bomo!) attempts to meet the needs of the Slovenian economy, which lacks engineers. The project’s creators and participating companies travel to high schools in order to generate interest in pursuing careers in engineering and science. The honorary patron of the project is President Borut Pahor.
In Slovenia, there is no comprehensive skills strategy or governmental platform for skill shortages on a national or regional level. The MDDSZ creates skill matching policies, making use of the work of ESS and several institutes, like the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, that are involved in the collection and analysis of information about labour market demands. The ESS also performs regular surveys of employers’ needs. However, there is no coordinated research on skill shortages or surpluses.
The demand for information and communications technology (ICT) professionals in Slovenia has been increasing. In January 2016, the MIZŠ developed a new strategy for ICT in education: ‘Strategic guidelines for continuous implementation of ICT in the Slovenian educational institutions until 2020’. The document involves all levels of education. The strategic guidelines were aligned with ‘Digital Slovenia 2020 – Strategy for the development of an information society until 2020)’ (DIGITALNA SLOVENIJA 2020 – Strategija razvoja informacijske družbe do leta 2020), which the Government of the Republic of Slovenian adopted in March 2016.
MIZŠ also supported the CODE Q project, an innovative initiative to promote programming skills (CODE Q - Učenje programiranja s samodejno generiranimi namigi). The programme is open to all and can be used for self-learning or as a supplement to regular courses.
In addition, the CPZ-International, The Centre for Knowledge Promotion developed an initiative aimed at matching individuals’ capacities and skills with the needs of the labour market. It also offered training courses, such as those focusing on computer skills.
A decade ago, the state decided to increase enrolment in the Faculty of Medicine in Ljubljana, establish a new Faculty of Medicine in Maribor and adopt the Act on Recognition of Professional Qualifications for Medical Doctors, Specialist Doctors, Doctors of Dental Medicine and Specialist Doctors of Dental Medicine (Zakon o priznavanju poklicnih kvalifikacij zdravnik, zdravnik specialist, doktor dentalne medicine in doktor dentalne medicine specialist) (in 2011), which led to the import of foreign doctors. While preparing the strategic document ‘Resolution on National Health Care Plan 2016–2025’ (Resolucija o nacionalnem planu zdravstvenega varstva 2016–2025), the Ministry of Health prepared a systemic analysis of the need for doctors in Slovenia and developed a training plan for additional health personnel. They predicted changes in the education of medical specialists, additional funding to educate sufficient number of missing profiles of health professionals and measures to create additional motivation to specialise in high-demand fields.
In 2013, the MIZŠ performed an analysis of the position of higher education graduates in the labour market, taking into account previous analyses of studies’ efficacy, labour market situations and employability. Higher education institutions were invited to reduce the number of available places in humanities and social sciences programs by 20% for the 2012/13 academic year. All higher education institutions took this directive into consideration. The Faculty of Social Sciences began to reduce enrolment in programmes by over 20 spots and made changes in the programmes of study in the 2018/2019 academic year. The University of Maribor lowered the number of available seats in several programs for two consecutive academic years, decreasing the number of seats in economics by more than 50%, in law and civil engineering by around 30% and in logistics by around 18%. However, in spite of reduction of enrolments into the social science and humanities programmes at public faculties, some new private faculties that exclusively operate within these two domains were created.
As stated in ‘Resolution on the National Programme of Higher Education 2011–2020’ (Resolucija o Nacionalnem programu visokega šolstva 2011–2020), all programmes of study must ensure the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences in accordance with the national framework of qualifications and key competences: innovation, critical thinking, communication in one’s native tongue, cultural awareness and expression, ability to operate in the international arena and information literacy.
The MDDSZ had been trying to raise youths’ competitiveness with the project ‘Institutional Training of Unemployed Persons’ (called ‘Informal Education and Training for Young’ in 2016). Young unemployed persons could attend courses, lectures and seminars on topics such as languages, computers, forklift operation, storekeeping, housemaid duties, welding and plumbing. In 2016, 2017/2018 and 2019, the government co-financed the projects 'On-the-job training – youth' (Usposabljanje na delovnem mestu - mladi), 'On-the-job training – youth 2017/2018' (Usposabljanje na delovnem mestu – mladi 2017/2018) and 'On-the-job training – youth 2019' (Usposabljanje na delovnem mestu – mladi 2019) which targeted young unemployed persons that were offered on-the-job trainings with the employers across the country. In addition, the Slovenian government tried to raise youths's employability with the project 'Let's employ youth' (Zaposlimo mlade) in 2019. The subsidies were provided for employers who would employ young people in search for a job that successfully completed trainings within the so-called 'innovative employment projects'.
The programme ‘Project Learning for Young Adults’ (Projektno učenje za mlajše odrasle) was developed to motivate unemployed young adults who left school before graduating to complete their education and gain new skills and to offer them information and guidance about potential new learning paths. To make the programme more adaptable to the specific needs of vulnerable young people, the programme was recently expanded. In addition to encouraging young people to re-enter formal education, more emphasis is placed on the activities that will help young people who do not wish to continue their formal education more competitive in the labour market.
The Centre for Knowledge Promotion offered training in order to match individuals’ capacities and skills with the labour market’s needs. The courses offered included sales specialist training, accountancy training, German and English language courses and computer courses.
The strategy ‘Slovenia's Development Strategy 2014–2020’ (Strategija razvoja Slovenije 2014–2020) and the National Qualification Framework (NQF) provide frames for understanding how much importance the government places on skill development to alleviate skill shortages.